Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution

Today’s prompt is pop culture. I asked for a little help from my friends on FB, and got some great suggestions.  Someone posted a link to the 70s German one-hit-wonder M singing “Pop Muzik.”  While I moved quickly out of the lighthearted vein that this was in, it set me up to try to work the music of the poem with a more pop sensibility.

Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution

See, the Revolution just isn’t revolving
because we don’t seem to be evolving
past the days of women’s bodies on a platter.

And you say, “What does it matter?
Miley makes her money,
leaves ’em groaning in the aisles.
She’s all smiles when she’s taking it to the bank.
She’s taking charge of her sexuality.
Isn’t that the reality you longed for?”

You want me to add some clarity?
Yes, Miley, she’s sort of the epitome of what I’m saying.
A naked lady on a wrecking ball?
Is that where feminism goes today?  Is it all
we fought for?  All we marched and sang for?

Is this the new face of free agency?
Is it really Miley’s art, or the sexualized,
the monetized dreams of some old fart,
some dirty-minded, soul-soiled fat cat
who tells her she’s more free
on this golden leash he gives her
while he’s taking his percentage
like a greedy pimp?

“Baby, this is what women’s lib looks like today.
You’ve come such a long, long way.”

I say it’s all designed to blind us
to the rank disparity in gender equality,
to sing to sleep our feeling
of outrage at that old glass ceiling.

What does it say about the culture,
when the only place her earnings
outstrip his is when she sells her body
to fulfill his yearnings?
When her only real earning power
is in the photoshopped shape
of her body?

It’s not about being a Puritan or prude.
For instance, I don’t see much distance
between Miley’s agent dude
and his sanctimonious twin
who considers femaleness a sin,
who’d keep women safely stowed inside
away from the roving eyes
of men who can’t take responsibility
for their wayward impulsive sexuality.
Who believes that sexual assault
is half consensual, half her fault–
all for the sin of being female.

There’s one name for both, a single key
for that door: its name is Patriarchy.

I don’t think this pickle we’re in
is Miley’s or Lindsay’s or Britney’s fault.
They’re just as wrapped up, just as caught
in this chaotic nonsense as the rest of us.
But if we don’t keep our goals in sight,
this Revolution will go down with the best of us.

Book Cover
You can buy it here!

Gratitude List:

1. Turning on the radio this afternoon and catching the sweet voice of Jane Goodall speaking about the communicative ability of trees, telling the story of a tree from Ground Zero that was saved after 9/11, “The tree,” she said, “is called Survivor.  I have met her.  She is beautiful.”
2. Making one’s way through the maze.  My boys are obsessed with mazes right now.  And I feel like they’re working on something at a deep, subconscious level, that will serve them into their adult lives.
3. The softness of feathers, that something so soft and light would be strong enough to hold a bird in the air.  I need to remember that, that the softness and then tenderness might sometimes be the thing that keeps me aloft.
4.  The art of Kseniya Simonova
5.  My book is here!  My book is here!  My book is here!  Holding the Bowl of the Heart came in the mail today.  My second book of poems.  This is the one that I first worked out, then sent off to contests while I worked on my second book, which I published first.  I have felt such warmth of support from so many good people throughout this process.

May we walk in Beauty!


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